Commercials Invent New Way to Bother You | Game RantJared BruettGame Rant – Feed


There is no escape from the constant barrage of advertisements that permeate every waking moment of American society, but at least a few of them are entertaining. Now, however, it seems audiences may be the ones expected to entertain the advertisements, as Peacock experiments with a brand new ad experience that requires users to talk back to their screens.

NBCUniversal has, since mid-August, began running a new type of advertisement on their streaming service, Peacock. These new commercials prompt the user to speak a specific phrase into their remote control in order receive a special offer or promotion. One example is Target, which asks the user to respond “Save With Suave” in order to receive a five dollar gift card. NBC has decided to refer to this system as an “On Command” advertisement.

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While that definitely sounds like an idea ripe for abuse by advertisers, Vice President of Media and Digital Engagement at Unilever, Rob Master, insists that it’s not really a big deal in its current form. “the idea that someone could have the option of receiving a coupon or learning more about a product in the midst of watching a show was a really interesting and appealing idea to us. The experience is what you make of it, so you can either decide to engage with the unit and get an offer or simply continue to watch the ad.”

To some extent, it’s difficult to argue with that assertion. As it stands, there is no penalty for not engaging with the advertisement, only a reward for those who choose to do so. However, one can also imagine a wide range of tactics that could make the technology far more odious, including ads that require voice interaction to proceed, or regular check-ins to force the user to engage with the ads. Regardless, it seems voice technology itself isn’t going away, with Comcast’s Vice President of Video and Entertainment saying the tech “simplifies the TV experience and makes it much more customer friendly. You are using the remote to move through the experience more efficiently, and that adds value.” Just how much value the tech truly adds, and whether that will be worth the trade-off, remains to be seen.

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Source: Variety

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